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A virtual TV, video-on-demand, radio and podcast-streaming platform for Africa

Publication Date: 
Tuesday, August 17, 2021

The CSIR has developed a solution to deliver unbroken video streams over mobile networks from 2.5G (rural) – 4G (Wi-Fi) at data costs ranging from as low as R2 up to R50 per viewing hour.

Contact Person

Minal Soni

msoni1@csir.co.za

The CSIR has developed a solution to deliver unbroken video streams over mobile networks from 2.5G (rural) – 4G (Wi-Fi) at data costs ranging from as low as R2 up to R50 per viewing hour.

Live streaming to mobile devices in rural and some peri-urban communities is problematic as buffering severely impacts the experience. Streaming at ultra-low data costs remains a challenge. In addition, the commercial television industry is dominated by large regional monopolies that own expensive delivery mechanisms, with few opportunities to create a new generation of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) global broadcasters.

The CSIR-developed Micro-Enterprise Media Engine (MEME) enables a broadcast manager to commission work from content creators, and to then upload, schedule and broadcast to audiences, while also connecting audiences to advertisers. “The solution has a low barrier to entry, and it is packaged into an offering as ‘broadcasting in a box’, suitable to enable media start-ups to become global broadcasters,” says CSIR chief engineer, Keith Ferguson.

The technology is well suited to closed-group broadcasting with social media interaction as the feedback mechanism. Closed groups would typically include corporate marketing, communications and training of a dispersed workforce, distance learning for universities or schools with students in low-income groups, community broadcasting in mining communities and others.

The MEME platform can benefit the information and communications technology corporate sector to host and develop applications that are customisable for the many market applications of this technology. “Of special interest is the inclusion of start-ups and SMMEs in partnership with the corporate sector,” says Ferguson.